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Prof Ysanne Holt

Research and Innovation Lead, Dept of Arts

Department: Arts

Ysanne Holt is Professor of Art History in the Department of Arts. Her research is focussed on themes relating to 20th and 21st century art in Britain, its critical discourses and institutions, as well as the broader processes and practices of cultural landscapes.

Ysanne Holt , Art History , Northumbria University , Newcastle.In both of these contexts she has led the development of multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional academic research networks as well as collaborative projects with national museums such as Tate Britain. She has a strong interest in the social and historical relations between forms of cultural production, and in this spirit was founding editor of the Routledge journal Visual Culture in Britain, now in its fifteenth volume. Her most recent preoccupations are with the experience and representations of the UK north, in particular with the shifting historical and present-day identities of marginal or ‘at edge’ sites such as borders and island locations. She is currently writing a book on art and visual culture in the 1920s and editing an anthology of essays on subjects relating to visual culture and the northern British archipelago.

At Northumbria I teach art history and visual theories to undergraduate Fine Art students and contribute to the MRes Arts programme.  I am a Research Lead in the Dept of Arts and lead the Visual and Material Culture research group.

0191 2273235


MA Sussex University, 1985 PhD Northumbria University, 1998

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research interests are in the field of British art of the first half of the twentieth century, in cultures of landscape and ruralism, as well as artists’ relations with collectors and with the wider art market, its networks and surrounding critical discourses. I am currently writing a monograph on visual and material culture in the 1920s. My focus has extended recently too to examine the processes and practices associated with specific past and contemporary northern landscapes and environments and I am developing a series of interdisciplinary and collaborative events and publications on the theme of ‘Northern Peripheries’.

I am currently principal supervisor for 3 PhDs on subjects relating to visual culture and walking, and to arts participation, sustainability and social change.

Current/Recent Projects

AHRC Research Network, ‘Northern Peripheries’, 2013-15, P.I
Getty Foundation funding as Academic Advisor role, Camden Town Group in Context Tate Britain, 2009-12

Key Publications

2019. Forthcoming. Co-editor with Maija Mäkikalli and Tuija Hautala-Hirvioja and Chapter, ‘The Visual and Material Culture of North: Rethinking the Peripheries’  in The Meaning of North in Art and Design, University of Lapland Press.

2018. Co-editor with David Martin-Jones and Owain Jones, and Chapter, ‘Visual Culture, the North and ‘Islandness’ in interwar Britain’, in Visual Culture in the Northern British Archipelago: Imagining Islands, Routledge

2017. Chapter, ‘Borderlands: Art, Craft and Textiles in the interwar Anglo-Scottish border’, in K. Bluemel and M. McClusky, eds. Rural Modernity in Britain: A Critical Intervention, Edinburgh University Press.

2017. Essay,The Centenary Celebrations of Grace Darling and the Longstone Lighthouse’, in From the Lighthouse: An Experiment in Interdisciplinarity, eds., T.Edensor and V.Strang, Routledge

2017. Chapter, ‘The Case of F.C.B. Cadell: Periodisation, Taste and Professional Identity’, in N. Carle, S. Shaw and S.Shaw, eds., Beyond the Garden Party: Rethinking Edwardian Culture, Routledge.

2017.  Article. ‘Performing the Anglo-Scottish Border: Cultural landscapes, Heritage and Borderland Identities’, Journal of Borderlands Studies  pp. 1-16. ISSN 0886-5655

Oct 2013. Co-editor (with Angela McClanahan), ‘Northern Peripheries’, themed issue of Visual Studies, including single-authored article, ‘A Hut on Holy Island: Reframing Northern Landscapes.’, Vol.28, no. 3.

March 2013. Article, ‘New York, London, Ireland: Collector John Quinn’s transatlantic network, c.1900-1917’, Visual Culture in Britain, (Guest Editor, Andrew Stephenson), Vol.14, no.2.

2012. Introduction and essays for Tate Britain’s ‘Camden Town Group in Context Research Project’,

2011. Chapter ‘The Call of Commerce: The Studio Magazine in the 1920s’, in The Rise of the London Art Market, 1860-1930, eds., Anne Helmreich and Pamela Fletcher, Manchester University Press.

2011. Exhibition catalogue essay, ‘The Open Air’, ed., Samuel Smiles, Into the Light: French and British Paintings from Impressionism to the early 1920s, Exeter Museum and Compton Verney, Samson & Co. Bristol.

2010 Co-authored Article with Anne Helmreich, ‘Marketing Bohemia: The Chenil Gallery in Chelsea, 1905-1926’, Oxford Art Journal, Vol.33, no. 1.

2010.  Introduction for themed issue, ‘North’, Visual Culture in Britain, Vol.11, no.3.

2008. Exhibition catalogue essay, ‘Landscapes of the 1920s’ in Chris Stephens, ed., A Continuous Line: Ben Nicholson in England, Tate Publishing.

2005. Introduction and article, ‘Edward Marsh and his ‘lust of possession’, in ‘Visual Culture and Taste in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain’, Visual Culture in Britain, Vol.6, no. 2.

2005. Chapter. ‘Travelling East to West: From Cockburnspath to Kirkcudbright’ in Laura Newton, ed., Painting at the edge: Britain’s Coastal Art Colonies, 1880-1930, John Sansom Publishing.

2004.  Article. ‘The Veriest Poem of Art in Nature’: E.A. Hornel’s Japanese Garden in the Scottish Borders, Tate Papers, Autumn issue.

2003. Book. British Artists and the Modernist Landscape, Ashgate Publishing.

2002.  Chapter and Introduction. The Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and the National Past, 1880-1940, Yale University Press, co. ed with David Peters Corbett and Fiona Russell.


To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here


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